Just another rambling fool at WordPress.com

Channeling Mom

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Every couple of years we get a pair of hawks that mate and nest somewhere close to our property. Two years ago a striking pair of hawks raised their young in the woods across the street. This year, they picked a big old white pine out behind our new barn and built their nest in the crotch of the tree. There’s always lots of activity when the young are being raised, but it’s nothing compared to the racket once the chicks have fledged. Apparently, like teenagers today, the juvenile hawks stick around for the summer and harass their parents into feeding them. They chase their folks from tree to tree, calling out pathetically for morsels of food and parental attention. The result is four loud, frantic, very large birds flitting from tree to tree all day long. At first I thought it was pretty cool. No matter what time of day I stepped out I was likely to find one or more hawks perched on a low branch nearby, screeching back and forth to each other. But that was back when we were in the throes of a heat wave, when all my windows were closed, the air conditioning was on and I was spending as little time as possible outdoors. Now the heat and humidity have moved on and I’m trying like crazy to get caught up on the gardening and lawn projects that got shelved during the heat. To say the hawks are distracting is a mild understatement. I’m torn between throwing down my gardening tools and bolting for my camera or grabbing ear plugs. I thought it would be easy to capture a few photos of the family, but so far I’ve traipsed all over tarnation and I’ve had very little success. A few days ago we had a grey, misty morning and as luck would have it, I heard one of the youngsters calling plaintively from the willow tree out back. I grabbed my camera and tripod and holding my breath, crept out the basement door. Would the hawk sit still long enough for me to fire off a couple of frames? Barely, but this is one of three photos I got. I would have liked a few seconds more to really get the camera better focused, but it wasn’t to be. Young hawks are especially leery of people and it didn’t stick around long enough for me to make any corrections. Better luck next time I guess!

Note: I don’t know why, but you have to click on a photo now to see better resolution. Anyone know what’s up with that? Annoying …..

4 responses

  1. Great photo! I’d be thrilled with it if it was mine!

    August 15, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    • Oh, thank you! I wanted something so much better, but boy is it hard sometimes to shoot wildlife … or at least it is for me! I’ve been fortunate to take some really nice hawk photos, but I still believe it was just dumb luck. I’d love to get good enough to know I can get a decent shot every time, but that probably takes a lot more practice than I’ll ever get. Thanks for dropping by!

      August 15, 2013 at 12:31 PM

  2. Wonderful shot, with a great story to match. Wildlife photography has its rewards, but it is amazingly frustrating much of the time. Good luck getting more shots of the youngsters.

    August 16, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    • Thanks Mike! I never realized just how hard wildlife photography can be until I started tinkering with it myself. I know there are places where the species of birds (and other animals) are much more cooperative, but I’m trying to shoot birds that are elusive and not easy to photograph in their natural habitat here. So any time I get a halfway decent shot I’m pretty stoked. That said, it’s suddenly gotten much more quiet over the last few days and alas, I suspect the youngsters have moved on. And so the cycle of life continues!

      August 19, 2013 at 7:43 AM

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